Something like a month ago I received from a good friend in Italy this Seiko 5606-5100 Automatic watch, which was manufactured in the mid Seventies, and of which I already talked here: Seiko 5606-5100: the Iron Man from the Seventies.
The watch had some problems with the balance wheel, and some screws were missing as well. Searching through eBay auctions is not easy to find this particular model in good working conditions, and also at a fair price, due to the “vintage aura” that comes together with watches from his period. Nevertheless, I did manage to find a working balance bridge complete of the balance wheel and air spring coil, for as little as 12€, so I decided to buy it immediately.
After a week the small package was here, and I disassembled completely the watch, following the instructions I found on a Seiko Forum in the Philippines: Inside the Seiko Caliber.
I did have some trouble with the re-positioning of the balance wheel, and especially with the oiling part, being it my first automatic watch I try to restore. After a few emails with the previous owner, who is a watchmaker, by the way, I finally managed out to find out my error (too much oil…) and correct my actions, so to finally be able to complete the restoration.
The watch is now 99% complete, since only the case ring is missing, to hold the dial against the inside of the case. The original leather strap was replaced with what I believe is the nearest looking stainless steel bracelet I could find, and even if it has some damaged links, I installed it and it does look quite good. Judge by yourselves:
The watch works almost perfectly, too, being the only defect the day/date Quickset mechanism, based on a plastic dented wheel which broke and that I am still looking a replacement for. Apparently this is a common defect for this particular movement: the dented wheel is made of low quality plastic that with time ages and becomes brittle, breaking at the least force applied.
Another thing I will look into replacing is the water (?) damaged dial. And perhaps, even if I did smooth out the case to a shiny finish, I might restore the front brushed finish, so to have a perfectly original looking Seiko 5606-5100.
Apart from that, I am really happy with the final result, being this my first Automatic watch I ever took apart to restore.
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